The World’s Worst Columnist Strikes Again

Ken AshfordGay Marriage, Right Wing Punditry/IdiocyLeave a Comment

Nobody can makes sense of Megan McArdle’s latest screed, mostly because it contains gems like this:

In some sense, the sexual revolution is over . . . and the forces of bourgeois repression have won.

That’s right, I said it: this is a landmark victory for the forces of staid, bourgeois sexual morality.  Once gays can marry, they’ll be expected to marry.  And to buy sensible, boring cars that are good for car seats.  I believe we’re witnessing the high water mark for “People should be able to do whatever they want, and it’s none of my business.”  You thought the fifties were conformist?  Wait until all those fabulous “confirmed bachelors” and maiden schoolteachers are expected to ditch their cute little one-bedrooms and join the rest of America in whining about crab grass, HOA restrictions, and the outrageous fees that schools want to charge for overnight soccer trips.

I’m not sure if she’s lamenting the death of the sexual revolution or celebrating it, but she seems to be saying that once gays start getting married, the sexual prudes win, because that means gays will be just like everybody else and no longer have hot sex in hot tubs.

Or something.

Try to make sense of this next paragraph:

I know, it feels like we’re riding an exciting wave away from the moral dark ages and into the bright, judgement free future.  But moral history is not a long road down which we’re all marching; it’s more like a track.  Maybe you change lanes a bit, but you generally end up back where you started.  Sometimes you’re on the licentious, “anything goes” portion near the bleachers, and sometimes you’re on the straight-and-narrow prudish bit in front of the press box.  Most of the time you’re in between.  But you’re still going in circles.  Victorian morality was an overreaction to the rather freewheeling period which proceeded it, which was itself an overreaction to Oliver Cromwell’s puritanism.  (Cromwell actually did declare a War on Christmas, which he deemed to be sensuous paganism.)

It has something to do with attending a sporting event, which is, depending on where you sit, a lot like Oliver Cromwell.

Or not.

Let’s scan down further:

When traditional marriage, with its expectations of monogamy and longevity, no longer means excluding gays, expect it to get more popular among affluent urbanites.

To be sure, it’s already popular–affluent urbanites are now quite conservative in their personal marital habits.  They’ve just been reluctant to shame those who don’t follow suit.  But with marriage freed from the culture-war baggage, we now have an opening for change.  Think it can’t happen?  Consider the cigarette. It was shocking for a woman to smoke on in public in 1880, nearly mandatory in 1940, and increasingly shocking in 2013 (for either gender).  I wouldn’t be surprised to see out-of-wedlock childbearing follow a similar course. 

What she is trying to say is that affluent urbanites will get married before having children, because women used to smoke very little, then they used to smoke a lot, and now they hardly smoke at all.
Well, it goes on like this… and then you come to the “Most Liked” comment to her editorial:
A pointless article.  Meandering subject, no structure, conclusion does not match either the title or the article.  Megan, what are you suggesting?  Nothing you put here says that sexual freedom will go away.  You also seem to say it’s bad, but then bemoan unmarried parents.  If I were your English teacher, this would not get a passing grade.